Being Right: A Slippery Slope of Healthcare



On Saturday while most Colgate students were out doing things to their livers that nationally subsidized healthcare won’t cover, House Democratic lawmakers passed The Affordable Health Care for America Act, the bill that would create such a system. Since H.R. 3962’s passage, political aficionados from left to right have been quick to put forth their views on it. Liberals tout it as courageous and necessary; conservatives attack it as a rash, wasteful and unconstitutional knife in the back of individual liberty.

Let’s start with some objective facts. The bill is 1,900 pages long. As of yet, there is no definitive cost tagged, but Democrats say $800 billion and the GOP says over $1 trillion. In the wake of the recent shootings at Fort Hood, news coverage has shifted focus from the healthcare bill to the motive behind the brutal attack, and the news is saying very little beyond covering lawmakers’ statements about the passage. Scanning the bill’s table of contents offers more insight into what it includes that most of the stories circulating in the news right now.

Personally, I’m bursting with opinions on this bill, and given that I’m on the right side of the page, I’m sure you can guess at them. First, I fail to understand how a bill of such colossal magnitude, a bill with so many financial, medical and even moral implications for the American people, could pass through the House without anyone reading it. How do I know no one read it, you ask? Neil Cavuto had a speed-reader on his program, who spent the show working through the massive stack of paper trying to find a definitive number for the bill’s cost. He can read and, more importantly, comprehend a page of dense congressional language in under a second. My attempt to read the introductory remarks took me five minutes. With passages like, “(a) In General- Section 1905(a)(5)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396d(a)(5)(A)) is amended by striking ‘section 1861(r)(1)’ and inserting ‘paragraphs (1) and (3) of section 1861(r)’,” I highly doubt anyone in the House took the time to read every word in this bill, much less check the aforementioned amended paragraphs in a completely different law. (If you’re wondering, that came from the section “Requiring Coverage of Services of Podiatrists”).

“A fiscal imperative,” our president calls it. He’s full of language about how this will make healthcare more affordable. Back in 1965, the Medicare bill was projected to cost nine times less than it actually does today. It’s safe to assume that, should this bill make it through the Senate and be signed into law, it too will include a plethora of hidden fees and after the fact expenses. Again, though, there is no solid number on the cost of this bill. The Congressional Budget Office scored it at $1,055 trillion dollars, but Nancy Pelosi and the gang have tossed out vague assurances that the bill costs no more than $900 billion. The lack of a solid number indicates that the bill did not receive the attention it full well deserved. If lawmakers cannot even agree on a price tag, how will they agree about the finer, more controversial points of the bill?

Which brings me to the next major issue at hand, namely, section 222, subsection 4: Abortion Services. Paragraph B in this subsection is labeled “Abortions for which Public Funding is Allowed.” Before I get into the moral opposition regarding abortion, I would like to point out that this is a waste of your money. If a woman wishes to terminate a pregnancy, whether because she’s too poor to support a baby or simply because she doesn’t want one, the American people should absolutely not foot that bill. An abortion is not a right (and if you’re me, you’d say it’s actually wrong altogether). Furthermore, the premium that all purchasers of this healthcare package would pay partly subsidizes these government-sponsored abortions. Let’s pretend for a moment I think the government should provide healthcare at all. Pro-life families cannot buy this package without violating their beliefs, because some of their money goes towards killing someone else’s child. This spits in the face of any American who wishes to live by his or her own moral code.

Furthermore, President Obama recently made a remark that he thinks anyone who can afford healthcare but doesn’t buy it ought to go to jail. Yes – if an individual cannot afford a private insurance plan but chooses not to purchase government subsidized coverage because he does not want his money to go toward something he is morally opposed to, he will go to jail if the president has his way.

The issue is far more complex than this one paragraph can discuss, but simple fact that the federal government would fund such a controversial procedure stands out as one of the most nefarious elements of this bill.

As the Fort Hood shooting fades from the news and more of this bill’s flaws come to light, attention will again swing back to the implications of H.R. 3962’s passage. The Senate will soon begin drafting its own version of the legislation, and America’s frightening and steady descent down the slippery slope of socialized medicine will continue. Perhaps the American people will understand what they’ve done when their routine doctor’s visits devolve into a bureaucratic disaster reminiscent of our own health center.

Contact Kate Hicks at [email protected].